It goes without saying that Democrats are having problems right now. The fact that 19 House Democrats opted to vote for someone other than their party’s nominee for Speaker speaks volumes. But to emphasize just how bad things are right now, let’s look at new polling numbers from Gallup showing the percentage of Americans that identify as Democrats at a 22 year low:
In 2010, 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, down five percentage points from just two years ago and tied for the lowest annual average Gallup has measured in the last 22 years. While Democrats still outnumber Republicans by two points, the percentage identifying as independents increased to 38%, on the high end of what Gallup has measured in the last two decades.
Gallup concludes that the drop in support is “notable,” but cautions Republicans against taking any real comfort in these numbers since support for the GOP only increased by a point over two years. Independents are still running strong. The best thing Republicans can do is continue to appeal to indpendent voters by keeping on the economy and spending.